modern day worships

Against Their Will: Our Duty to Respond to Fellow Polytheists in Distress

I love this post.

I understand how important the stories we tell (and tell ourselves) are to how we interact with the world around us. I am all about stories, as they shape our very reality. I don’t want to take away, or encourage the taking away, of narratives that people genuinely find helpful in how they tell the stories of who and what and how they are.

That said: consent culture needs to be a thing. That rape culture is so embedded in our consciousness that it informs how we think of, speak of, and interact with the Powers, is telling, and says much of how our over-culture informs our worldviews. There is a world of a difference between giving consent repeatedly and having it taken away irrevocably. There is a world of a difference between saying yes to a relationship in which one is owned and having that choice taken away. The first is a matter between you and the Power involved; the second is not okay and should not be lifted up as some standard to be achieved.

I think we need to be more clear when we’re speaking of things. I think we need to be more honest and possibly less poetic. I think we need to be less accepting of people and Powers that make us feel like shit.

When Pops first entered my life, He disregarded the boundaries I was trying so hard to erect — the distinction here, though, is that I said yes, and that while part of me was terrified and clinging to those boundaries, the part of me that had cried out for help to Poseidon all those years ago was now crying out to Odin. He dragged me — at some points kicking and screaming, as He completely changed my life (job? Gone! Decade long relationship with mortal partner? Gone! Living somewhere I knew, with people I knew? Gone, gone, gone!) and it was painful and raw and scary — but I said yes, even if I was whispering it, each step of the way. I knew those boundaries I consciously erected were strangling me.

I feel safe, cherished, and protected with the sense of possessiveness that I get from Both of Them, and every day is me saying ‘yes’ again. But that yes is important. It’s pivotal. Even if you find yourself landed in a god-owned situation, that ‘yes’ needs to be there.

/soapbox. I love this post, and the author is far more articulate on the subject than I can manage. Read it.

Magick From Scratch

11140123_10153135382268705_6716534346276535975_nAs I am watching people crawl out of the woodworks,voicing their support for a theology of consent in the Polytheist community, a question has come up.

“This is all well and good, but how do we make the gods participate?”

For those of us, who, like me, certainly couldn’t just will a harmful manifestation of deity away with positive-thinking and pixie-dust, what is the actual path forward?

It’s hard to say for sure. While there are a sizable number of people with experiences similar to mine, where a deity was simply intent on grinding the mortal in question into the dirt until they relented, there is precious little, right now, being said about how to compassionately respond to the suffering of people going through something like this. There is even less being said about how to make it stop.I can’t answer this question all by myself, but I have…

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3 thoughts on “Against Their Will: Our Duty to Respond to Fellow Polytheists in Distress

  1. After reading that article it made me realize how crossed lines in communication can lead to unhappy situations. With Odin I have seen and experienced this as him (my particular Odin Aspect at any rate) as often being a “17 no’s + 1 yes = yes.”. He claims persistent wooing, I claim a nuisance harassing me via extreme application of finesse and charisma until I cave in. Everybody win! Really now? That a fact? How about retrospect when once again I get the distinct sensation that I’ve somehow been majorly hosed?
    How do I reconcile Odin the male presence that slowly, and for the most part, gently revealed-or allowed himself to be revealed to me as Odin, with the Odin of lore who disgusts and sickens me with his behavior toward human beings. (To Freyja, in exchange for the return of Brisingamen: ” Set princes at each others throats. I want that men should tear each other apart whether they will it or not.”. Toward women? Wow. He encompasses every stereotype of rotten man out there. Bragging about stealing women from husband’s, brags about raping female war survivors, boasts of rune spells to make women fuck you. Really Odin? Really?? Rohypnol much? Same difference.)Now I know this is lore. It was written-some by Christians-and can’t help but reflect the beliefs men held about women as chattel to be used as men will. However, I maintain that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

    My personal experiences with Odin lead me to believe he has some learning to do about this consent culture thing. Hell, when I was 15 years old 17 no’s and one yes equal a yes. Today this is highly coercive wooing doesn’t imply consent at all. It was called seduction in my time. But now its not conaesual. Even if the woman enjoys it into the act. I also realize this experience comes with my version or aspect of Odin. His trickling down to me from the one, All Father to Poppy’s Odin is based, I think, upon mutual needs and desires being addressed and fulfilled to mutual lessons being learned, not so much by intent or design, but rather as almost purely incidental and inevitability.

    1. Meh. WP ate half my response, and I don’t have the time to retype it. Will comment tomorrow. Feh.

  2. I love what you have to say about the importance of the stories we tell, Jo! That’s what we are, that’s what is so ingrained in us to do, to be story tellers, and our stories can hold a lot of power to shape what we ourselves and others perceive the world. I hope the fact that this is being discussed, along with our terrible rape culture, is a sign that our over culture, as well as the cultures within polytheist communities, is ready to move on past it, and change the story.

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